|1st XV Report - Sat 12th April 2008 v Leicester Forest
This was a difficult "must win" game for Wellingborough who were determined to come away with the right result. They started well going down the slope and gained immediate territorial advantage. However the one time the home side got into Wellingborough's 22 they were awarded a penalty which they duly converted.
Wellingborough struck back within a few minutes, kicking into the Leicester Forest 22 and from a lineout catch and drive Nick Murphy took the ball over from a rolling maul to score. Peter Vickers converted. Leicester Forest then put together several phases of play in the Wellingborough half culminating in the Fly Half going through for a converted try.
The next 10 minutes or so was Wellingborough's and Peter Vickers broke through in the centre of the field making 30 metres to feed Steven Gall who went over under the posts. The backs were beginning to function now and Dominic Smart was cruelly late tackled as he chipped through. Peter Vickers kicked the penalty awarded. From the restart Chris Mears fielded the ball and set off from his 22. He fed Dominic Smart after making ground and he beat his winger, chipped the cover and ran on to collect the ball over the line to score under the posts. Peter Vickers converted to complete a good passage of play.
Wellingborough were obviously feeling a bit more confident now but this led to a few errors in decision making. One such error, when they tried to chip over the Leicester back line in their own 22, proved catastrophic as the ball rebounded off the centre and up into the wingers hands who duly ran on to score. Further errors crept in leading to Leicester Forest kicking a penalty just before half time to make the score 20 - 22 to Boro. The teams were both glad to hear the half time whistle as a torrential hailstorm had started minutes beforehand.
Coming back out onto a field white with hailstones both sides found it difficult to hold onto the ball. After 20 minutes one loss of possession by Wellingborough allowed Leicester to kick them down into their 22 and from a 15 metre scrum the Leicester Fly Half dropped a goal to put them in front by one point. For a while it looked as if the conditions and their own mistakes were going to beat Wellingborough but they have shown great character this season and this was to be no exception. A break by Kyle Danns from a fielded punt on his own 22 set up Dominic Smart who made ground up the wing and fed Steven Gall to run in close to the posts. Peter Vickers again converted.
With the replacements on, Wellingborough were able to step up the pressure and after a number of rucks in the Leicester 22 Joe Marston pulled off an amazing pick up from a pass to his toes, stepped inside and gave Dominic Smart the room to round the defence and score under the posts. Again Peter Vickers converted to make the final score 23 - 36.
At first Wellingborough were relieved to come away with a win even if the points difference was not great but this was soon dampened when they heard the news that Leighton Buzzard had beaten Casuals by 97-5 to leapfrog them to the top of the league again. It is now all on the last league game of the season next Saturday to see who are crowned champions.
Higgins Man of the Match: Andy Fordham